The formula to making money with your music in Nigeria or anywhere at all, is more of an open secret these days. All signed artistes need to do get their music across to existing platforms; not minding the many underlying legal implications such deal can come with.
But when you’re an independent artiste, things change. You don’t have the resources, or reputation to get attention from big music platforms. You have to go through some companies that act as middlemen, and get your music onto those platforms.
On the international level we have platforms like Tunecore, CD Baby and DistroKid, who take a fee to get the music on iTunes, Spotify etc. And then they pay revenues to you. Down here, we have FreeMe Digital, which is kinda like the most functional. With local platforms like Boomplay and MtnMusic+ booming.
But there will forever be speculation about the artistes getting cheated. Rapper, Ycee had once called out FreeMe for ripping him off. The question is this, who is responsible for the payout? is it the digital music platforms or the middlemen? It’s got to be one or even both.
Now the A-Q that a lot of people know is not a very “businessy” person. All we know him for are his deep bars, and hard songs. But, he is definitely knowledgeable in other ways, and obviously understand one or two things about the business of the music industry as well.
Recently A-Q took to Twitter to share some of his thoughts. According to a tweet, he thinks international music streaming platforms are not “declaring profits” and that Nigerian digital music platforms can really cash in on that. Provided they get more music business professionals to handle responsibilities as opposed to tech guys. Makes sense, right?
But DJ Spinall wasn’t having any of that. He quickly gave his response with a tweet;
Nigerian digital platforms … All thieves ! https://t.co/n4lwHBl9mU
— Top Boy (@DJSPINALL) June 26, 2018
“Nigerian digital platforms… All thieves!”
Now, that’s harsh, but with the reports we’ve been hearing, the DJ’s claim seem to hold water. The best part of this episode is the fact that A-Q understood Spinall’s ciphered message.
He simply stated the facts in a tweet replying to DJ Spinall;
We need to demand how they arrived at the variables with which they pay us, once we have that we cannot be cheated easily..we don’t know how these apps work.. hence we cannot make the most out of it and we accept what they give to use as our revenue generated.. https://t.co/aFxslgDyXN
— KingMAKER/KingSLAYER (@thisisAQ) June 26, 2018
“We need to demand how they arrived at the variable with which they pay us, once we have that we cannot be cheated easily.. we don’t know how these apps works.. hence we cannot make the most out of it and we accept what they give to us as our revenue generated”
About the author
Quasar Miami formerly known as Tylz, is a young rap artiste and an outspoken music industry commentator. He writes in a very controversial manner and is known to “never let the sleeping dogs lie”. In October 2017, he was inducted into HipHopHead as a contributor.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead.